Statement from NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad on the signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: floods, heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and loss of glacial ice.
A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: floods, heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and loss of glacial ice. (NOAA)

"NOAA touches the life of every American each day, and the historic investments reflected in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed today by President Biden underscore the importance of our science, service, and stewardship mission. Over the next five years the $2.96 billion dollar investments for NOAA laid out in this legislation will improve and significantly expand equitable access to our weather and climate prediction capabilities and services; enhance coastal resilience and habitat restoration efforts, including Pacific salmon recovery; and improve our modeling capacity through investments in supercomputing infrastructure.

The nation’s infrastructure of the future needs to be climate smart, climate ready, and climate resilient to prepare communities for the on the ground impacts of increasingly intense precipitation, hurricanes, flooding, drought, extreme heat, and fire weather events. As an integral part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA’s data, analysis and predictions are used by businesses of all sizes to make critical decisions daily. This significant increase in resources for NOAA will benefit the business community across a range of sectors from agriculture to energy to transportation, especially when it comes to products and services that help prepare for extreme weather and climate-driven events.

This historic investment would not be possible without the extraordinary leadership of President Biden and his strong vision for resilient infrastructure and efficient operations of many sectors, and for the House and Senate leaders who support making it a reality.”

— Dr. Rick Spinrad

 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: A $2.96 billion investment in NOAA’s future

Science

  • $492 million to improve NOAA’s coastal and inland flood mapping, forecasting, and water modeling. These investments will improve NOAA’s capability to better inform life and property decisions and mitigate flooding impacts to the U.S. population and economy.
  • $150 million to enhance observing systems that gather crucial data about our coastal, ocean and Great Lakes environment. NOAA will make critical investments in advanced observing technology.  These investments will help measure how environmental observing systems can provide critical data about the marine ecosystem. 
  • $50 million to improve wildfire prediction, modeling, and forecasting. NOAA will work to improve short-term forecasts to better predict fire behavior and longer-term modeling of interactions among climate variability, climate change, and the likelihood of hazardous wildfire conditions.
  • $50 million for scientific instruments and equipment to support wildfire observation. NOAA will procure new instruments and equipment, and update existing equipment to improve wildfire prediction, detection, observation, modeling, and forecasting. 
  • $1 million for research on soil moisture and snowpack in the upper Missouri River basin. This investment will support the NOAA National Mesonet Program to establish a monitoring system for forecasters and river managers to adequately assess drought conditions and flood potential—both of which are critical to the protection of life and property in the entire Missouri River Basin. 

Service

  • $491 million to provide funding and technical assistance to restore marine, estuarine, and Great Lakes ecosystems, and to help prevent flood damage in coastal communities. This investment helps protect the safety and well-being of coastal communities by buffering shorelines from erosion, reducing flooding, and removing potentially hazardous structures.
  • $80 million to improve supercomputing infrastructure to support weather and climate models. This investment will enable NOAA to procure research supercomputing equipment used for weather and climate model development to improve drought, flood, and wildfire prediction, detection, and forecasting. 
  • $56 million to enhance Regional Ocean Partnerships for the coordination of  interstate and intertribal management of ocean and coastal resources. This investment will enhance the use of Regional Ocean Partnerships -- voluntary, multi-state, typically Governor-established forums that identify shared priorities and take action on a diversity of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes issues important to their geographies and communities. With NOAA’s support, these long-standing partnerships are an effective means of fostering best practices of interagency coordination, data-informed ocean and coastal management, and thoughtful engagement with regional constituents. 
  • $25 million to enable data acquisition that supports improved measurements of soil moisture and snowpack. This investment will support a NOAA study and pilot program with the state mesonet programs in the Upper Missouri River Basin. The program will examine soil moisture and snowpack monitoring in the Upper Missouri River Basin pursuant to section 511(b)(3) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. 

Stewardship

  • $492 million to support coastal resilience and restoration through National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund grants. This investment supports climate-resilient adaptation for industry and communities, and promotes sustainable job opportunities. Funding will help restore and strengthen natural infrastructure to protect coastal communities, including those who have historically lacked investment and access to resources, while also enhancing habitats for fish and wildlife. 
  • $400 million to enhance fish passage by restoring barriers and providing technical assistance under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (15% of funding reserved for tribes). These funds will help protect and restore habitats that sustain fisheries, recover protected species, and maintain resilient ecosystems and communities.
  • $207 million for habitat restoration through the Coastal Zone Management Act. Coastal Zone Management grants will enable approved coastal programs to better prepare for and become more resilient to storms, flooding and inundation, erosion, tsunamis, sea-level rise and lake-level changes, and other natural hazards that affect U.S. coastlines.
  • $200 million to support marine debris prevention and removal ($50M reserved for NOAA Sea Grant). These investments will support the NOAA Marine Debris Program, which promotes action to reduce debris in our ocean, including clean up and response needed as a result of severe marine debris events. 
  • $172 million to support recovery efforts for Pacific coastal salmon. These investments will protect, restore, and conserve Pacific salmon and steelhead and their habitats through competitive funding to states and Tribes.
  • $77 million to support habitat restoration through the National Estuarine Research Reserves. These investments will support stewardship activities at each of the 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves that support habitat conservation, restoration, and the development of decision support tools.
  • $20 million to support Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Essential Fish Habitat consultation and permitting. These investments will allow NOAA to provide more efficient, accurate, and timely permit reviews, through the training of personnel, development of programmatic documents, procurement of technical or scientific services, development of data and information systems, stakeholder and community engagement, and the development of analysis tools, techniques, and guidance.

 

Media contact

Lori Arguelles, lori.arguelles@noaa.gov, cell (571) 439-4084